Stoppila Sunzu

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Stoppila Sunzu
Stoppila Sunzu May 2017.jpg
Sunzu with Arsenal Tula in 2017
Personal information
Date of birth (1989-06-22) 22 June 1989 (age 30)
Place of birth Chingola, Zambia
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Defender, defensive Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Konkola Blades
2007–2008 Afrisports
2008–2010 Zanaco Lusaka 7 (0)
2008–2009Châteauroux (loan) 0 (0)
2010–2014 TP Mazembe
2014 Sochaux 27 (4)
2015–2016 Shanghai Shenhua 13 (1)
2015–2016Lille (loan) 16 (1)
2015–2016Lille B (loan) 3 (0)
2016–2018 Lille 16 (1)
2017Arsenal Tula (loan) 13 (0)
2017–2018Arsenal Tula (loan) 29 (2)
2018– Metz 23 (2)
National team
2007 Zambia U20 41 (10)
2008– Zambia 78 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:01, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 February 2019

Stoppila Sunzu (born 22 June 1989), also known as Stophira Sunzu,[1] is a Zambian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Metz. He scored the winning penalty kick for Zambia in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Final.

Early life[edit]

Stopilla Sunzu was born in Chingola and is the younger brother of Felix Sunzu and the son of Felix Sunzu Sr, a goalkeeper who was originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.[2]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

He began his career with Afrisports of Kitwe.[citation needed] He was discovered at a U-16 tournament in Chambeshi, Zambia and he was referred to Afrisports.[3]

He then joined Konkola Blades under a loan arrangement.[citation needed] After representing Zambia at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 19-year-old was invited for trials at the English side Reading.[4] The Championship side was keen on securing him on a longer deal but due to work permit problems the move did not materialise.[4] He signed a loan contract for Châteauroux in September 2008 and after the end of the season on 30 June 2009 returned to Zanaco FC.[5]

TP Mazembe[edit]

In 2010, Sunzu transferred to TP Mazembe of Democratic Republic of Congo.[citation needed] His registration to Zanaco was a loan from Afrisports and there was some initial dispute regarding his move to TP Mazembe but it was eventually resolved.[6] With Mazembe, he won domestic titles as well as the 2010 CAF Champions League.[4] He was sent off in the club's opening 2010 FIFA Club World Cup game.[7] In November 2012, he was shortlisted for the 2012 Africa-based Player of the Year award.[8] In January 2013, he trained with Reading in the English Premier League with a view to being offered a contract.[9][10] He returned to the 2013 African Cup of Nations without any contract being signed.[11] Sunzu came to Reading on the premise of being a free agent, with his three-year contract expiring in December 2012. Moses Katumbi, president of TP Mazembe, accused Sunzu's handlers of lying to Reading about his contract stating that it does not expire until 2015.[12][13]

Stints in France and China[edit]

On 6 January 2014, Sunzu joined French Ligue 1 club Sochaux-Montbéliard along with his teammate Nathan Sinkala.[14][15] He scored important goals but could not prevent the relegation of the French side to Ligue 2.[16]

On 29 December 2014, Sunzu transferred to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.[17] He made his debut and scored his first goal for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on 8 March 2015, in a 6–2 victory against city rivals Shanghai Shenxin.[18]

Sunzu was loaned to Lille for one year on 28 July 2015.[19][20] In his first season there, he made 16 appearances scoring twice. On 10 July 2016, he joined Lille permanently on a three-year contract, for an undisclosed fee.[19]

Arsenal Tula loans[edit]

On 3 February 2017, Sunzu signed a loan deal with the Russian Premier League club FC Arsenal Tula until the end of the 2016–17 season. At the time of the signing, Arsenal Tula claimed his player rights still belong to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, and that is the club Arsenal loaned him from, despite earlier reports on him signing a permanent deal with Lille.[21]

In July 2017, he re-joined Arsenal Tula on loan for the 2017–18 season.[22]


On 9 July 2018, he returned to France, signing a two-year contract with FC Metz.[23][24] He made his league debut for the club on 30 July 2018, playing all ninety minutes in a 1–0 away victory over Stade Brest.[25] He scored his first competitive goal for the club on 19 October 2018 in a 3–0 league victory over Chamois Niortais. His goal, assisted by Marvin Gakpa, was scored in the 80th minute.[26]

International career[edit]

Sunzu represented his country at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.[27] In that tournament, Zambia defeated an Uruguayan side that featured Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani.[28]

He made his full international debut against Botswana in a 2009 African Championship of Nations qualifier.

Sunzu scored the winning penalty of the penalty shoot-out in the final of the 2012 African Cup of Nations against Ivory Coast, which Zambia won 8–7.[29]

In October 2013, due to a disagreement between their club TP Mazembe and the Zambian Football Association over international call-ups, Sunzu and two other players (Nathan Sinkala and Rainford Kalaba) were the subject of a Zambian arrest warrant.[30] All three players later had their passports confiscated by Zambian immigration authorities,[31] before being pardoned by the Zambian government.[32]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Zambia's goal tally first.[33]
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 12 August 2009 Brisbane Stadium, London, England  Ghana 1–2 1–4 Friendly
2. 25 October 2009 Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo, Zambia  Namibia 1–0 1–0 2009 COSAFA Cup
3. 11 January 2012 Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa  South Africa 1–0 1–1 Friendly
4. 4 February 2012 Estadio de Bata, Bata, Equatorial Guinea  Sudan 1–0 3–0 2012 Africa Cup of Nations
5. 10 October 2018 Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola, Zambia  Guinea-Bissau 1–0 2–1 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification



TP Mazembe



  1. ^ "FIFA Tournaments - Players & Coaches - Stophira SUNZU". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  2. ^ Zanaco’s Chileshe : Sunzu ‘ll be the anchorman for the Chipolopolo Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ MUSONDA, SHAMAOMA (26 November 2012). "Zambia: Afrisports Boss Hails Sunzu, Kalaba Nomination". The Times of Zambia (Ndola). Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sky Sports Scout - Stoppilla Sunzu". Sky Sports. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  5. ^ Transferred to LBC
  6. ^ Mungala, Sydney (11 February 2010). "Sunzu belongs to us, says Afrisports director". The Post (Zambia). Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  7. ^ "TP Mazembe beat Pachuca at the Club World Cup". BBC Sport. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Caf reveals shortlists for player of the year awards". BBC Sport. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  9. ^ Hassan, Nabil (14 January 2013). "Reading: Zambian Stopilla Sunzu training with Royals". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Zambia defender Stoppila Sunzu claims he is all set to join Reading". Sky Sports. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  11. ^ O'Rourke, Pete. "Stoppila Sunzu's move to Reading stalls due to doubts about TP Mazembe contract". Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Sunzu's Reading move hits snag". Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  13. ^ Gondwe, Kennedy (19 February 2013). "Zambian Stoppila Sunzu settles TP Mazembe dispute". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Accords pour les venues de Sunzu et Sinkala" (in French). Official Website of FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Zambian pair Sinkala and Sunzu set to join Sochaux". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Der 38. Spieltag der französischen Ligue 1 2013/2014" (in German). Fussballdaten. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  17. ^ 申花正式宣布苏祖加盟 新赛季套票价格微涨 at 29 December 2014 Retrieved 2015-7-28 (in Chinese)
  18. ^ 中超-恩里克3球卡希尔造乌龙 申花6-2申鑫 at 8 March 2015 Retrieved 2015-7-28 (in Chinese)
  19. ^ a b Okeleji, Oluwashina (10 July 2016). "Zambia defender Stoppila Sunzu signs permanent Lille deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  20. ^ 申花宣布苏祖加盟法甲里尔 赞比亚铁卫租借一年 at 28 July 2015 Retrieved 2015-7-28 (in Chinese)
  21. ^ СТОППИЛА СУНЗУ – В «АРСЕНАЛЕ» (in Russian). FC Arsenal Tula. 3 February 2017.
  22. ^ Dove, Ed (7 July 2017). "Stoppila Sunzu extends Arsenal Tula loan". ESPN FC. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  23. ^ "STOPPILA SUNZU EST MESSIN!" (in French). FC Metz. 9 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Official | Stoppila Sunzu joins Metz in Ligue 2 from Lille". 10 July 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Brest vs. Metz – 30 July 2018 – Soccerway". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Metz vs. Niort – 19 October 2018 – Soccerway". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  27. ^ Fifa Profile
  28. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 - Matches - Uruguay-Zambia -". Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  29. ^ Magowan, Alistair (12 February 2012). "Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia win dramatic shoot-out". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  30. ^ Ian Hughes (15 October 2013). "Zambia internationals: Arrest warrants issued for trio". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  31. ^ Kennedy Gondwe and Ian Hughes (19 October 2013). "Zambia confiscate Kalaba, Sinkala and Sunzu's passports". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  32. ^ Kennedy Gondwe (22 October 2013). "Kalaba, Sunzu & Sinkala pardoned by Zambian government". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  33. ^ "Sunzu, Stoppila". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

External links[edit]